HL Deb 30 April 1991 vol 528 cc17-8WA
Baroness David

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the impact on the provision of special education within mainstream schools of the proposal by the Secretary of State for Education and Science that all secondary schools should have grant-maintained status within five years.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch)

The rate at which schools become grant-maintained depends on parental ballots and Ministers' decisions about applications for grant-maintained status. However, the national resources available for children with special educational needs are not affected by schools attaining grant-maintained status. The Education Act 1981, as amended by the Education Reform Act, places a duty upon governors of ordinary schools, including grant-maintained schools, to safeguard the education of pupils with special educational needs. For those pupils whose special educational needs are such as to require the protection of a statement, LEAs retain their duties under the 1981 Act to identify, assess and provide appropriately for their special educational needs. Where a child has a statement of special educational needs the local education authority is under a statutory duty to ensure that the provision specified in the statement is made, and to keep that statement under review. This applies whether the child attends a school maintained by the local education authority or a grant-maintained school